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Old 18th Apr 2024, 10:25 am   #1
chriswood1900
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Default 60 Years of BBC 2

We have almost reached the 60th anniversary of BBC 2 which was due to launch on the 20th April 1964 eventually started on 21st after a power cut affected west London. The first proper show was Playschool, some might say it kept to that theme for the next 60 years!!
It was marked on the forum 10 years ago with this thread,
https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=105397

I thought it was worth marking again.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 11:01 am   #2
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

Absolutely!

Thanks for this reminder Chris.

BBC2 has been of immeasurable benefit to many. It's certainly safe for me to say that my own life is much the better for having it.

Steve.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 11:36 am   #3
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

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Originally Posted by fetteler View Post
Absolutely!

BBC2 has been of immeasurable benefit to many. It's certainly safe for me to say that my own life is much the better for having it.

Steve.
True, but it's a very different channel to what it started out as - many considered it "high brow" (e.g. The Ascent of Man, Civilisation, I Claudius, Late Night Line-up, etc.).
Nowadays, BBC4 is more like BBC2 used to be.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 4:12 pm   #4
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

I used to find many of the Open University programmes that used to be transmitted on Sunday mornings and overnight, interesting.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 4:25 pm   #5
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

I remember it well! We shifted lots of 625 line conversion kits for the Murphy 759 etc (the complete tuner/IF strip in a wooden plinth), the one with the drive cord & long tuning scale. Also the Rediffusion MK8, which was a bought-in Plessey chassis, Similar to the Defiant.
Very grainy pictures in a lot of poor signal areas, many PC86/PC88's changed by "bottle-jockeys" in the field, to effect marginal improvement..
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 4:33 pm   #6
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

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Very grainy pictures in a lot of poor signal areas, many PC86/PC88's changed by "bottle-jockeys" in the field, to effect marginal improvement..
When they were introduced, the transistor (AF139 or AF186) masthead or set back UHF preamplifiers sold by Labgear made a big improvement.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 5:10 pm   #7
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

We were lucky, there were few areas in our location that the valve tuners didn’t give a good picture. Winter Hill came on air when many new sets were using transistors in the UHF tuners which also helped a great deal.
I can’t remember converting any sets, the sets that already were UHF capable just required an aerial but many decided not to due to the programmes not being to their taste.
I found BBC2 to be an excellent station, now just a shell of its former self and BBC4 is now used mainly for repeats.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 6:30 pm   #8
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Strange! I was only thinking the other day how the service manager and I went in search of a signal we had a rotary convertor and a Philips set with UHF conversion in a J4 van, a long pole with a BBC 2 aerial on top, we found a good signal on a high spot in Derbyshire.
All good fun better than been stuck in the workshop .Happy days. Mick.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 7:09 pm   #9
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

We didn't get a BBC2 capable set in our house until 1971, so I missed out on The Virginian and Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.

Aub
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 7:29 pm   #10
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

And arguably the most technical looking testcard ever. Based on TC "C"
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 7:38 pm   #11
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

I remember Derek, the local TV-shop owner [who in the mid-70s I helped out on Saturdays, driving tellies out to customers in his little blue Mini-van and setting them up in exchange for being able to order stuff from his RS catalog] telling me that when the launch of BBC2 was announced, quite a few of his customers paid out ahead of the actual on-air date to get a UHF antenna pointed at Sutton Coldfield installed, and were lined up to become customers for one of those new-fangled dual-standard 625-line tellies.

Just as when ITV was coming and people got a Band-III ITV antenna installed on their chimney as a status-symbol even though they only had a BBC-capable Band-I TV.

When it was revealed that BBC2 was to be a niche-market station with distinctly 'highbrow' stuff - much more the visual equivalent of the Third Program rather than a "Light" service to complement the existing BBC1 [which was seen as the video Home Service] and ITV, he had a rush of cancellations [and had to return their deposits, which did nothing for his cash-flow!].
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 7:50 pm   #12
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

Our first BBC2 set was a Bush135 rented from a local firm "Whites".
Tuning up the UHF band on the valve tuner, there was nothing at all to be had, not even snow and hiss, until you reached BBC2 all alone on Ch 62 from Winter Hill.

UHF Yagis reminded me of little ladders for Budgerigars, and it was interesting to see who was getting them installed.

I did modify a Bush TV53 for BBC2, for use in my bedroom. Picture was good, but I don't remember getting satisfactory sound.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 9:52 pm   #13
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

Does anyone remember a Murphy conversion it was a rather posh slimline ad on unit in polished wood that you fixed under the cabinet, I would love to see one again. Mick.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 10:31 pm   #14
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinrads View Post
Does anyone remember a Murphy conversion it was a rather posh slimline ad on unit in polished wood that you fixed under the cabinet, I would love to see one again. Mick.
See post #5
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Old 19th Apr 2024, 4:08 pm   #15
chriswood1900
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinrads View Post
Does anyone remember a Murphy conversion it was a rather posh slimline ad on unit in polished wood that you fixed under the cabinet, I would love to see one again. Mick.
There is an article about one in Practical Television in Nov 1970 https://worldradiohistory.com/UK/Pra...on-1970-11.pdf page 10/56
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Old 19th Apr 2024, 4:54 pm   #16
dazzlevision
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

I have a couple of Murphy Astra series UHF converter plinths that I bought from Manor Supplies in West Hampstead in the 1970s (new and boxed) and converted a 23" V753 (Astra Mark 2 chassis) at that time. The Test Card F picture was very good indeed and although the UHF tuner was valved, there were three Mazda 6F23 (frame grid) vision IF stages, so plenty of gain.

I have a Murphy 19" V789 (with inbuilt VHF/FM radio and gated vision AGC), to which I plan to add a UHF converter plinth, but I have to sort out a dud oil filled LOPT first!

Fitting a UHF converter plinth into the preceding Astra Mark 1 (V6xx series) range would more expensive and time consuming, as there was much less factory fitted provision in the main chassis and a lot of mods and extra parts needed to be fitted. What a "Hullaballo - and Custard" - refer to this link if you don't get it: https://transdiffusion.org/2017/05/2...receive-bbc-2/

Last edited by dazzlevision; 19th Apr 2024 at 5:12 pm.
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Old 19th Apr 2024, 6:51 pm   #17
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

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What a "Hullaballoo - and Custard"...
Sixty years old, and hasn't lost her squeak..

Paul
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Old 20th Apr 2024, 10:57 pm   #18
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

BBC2 came to Cornwall via Caradon Hill quite late in 1969. But even so it caused a stir and soon grew in popularity
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Old 21st Apr 2024, 12:56 am   #19
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

In 1964, Invercargill/Southland was just getting its first TV - Hedgehope started as a relay of DNTV2 on channel 1 (system B from the outset though). It would have been 1976 before we got a second network - South Pacific Television (which started as TV2 and reverted back to Two when One and SPTV were merged into TVNZ in 1980) on channel 3.

Then another 14ish years before we got TV3 on channel 7, about a year after it went to air in larger centres in 1989.
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Old 21st Apr 2024, 10:38 am   #20
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Default Re: 60 Years of BBC 2

BBC 2
Having started as a apprentice in the TV trade (1970) I remember the start of BBC 2 in our area (Ayrshire) bit of a miss mash of trying to receive UHF transmissions from the only transmitter at the time (Blackhill) yes expensive mast head amplifiers, but 1971 saw changes when the Darvel transmitter service started, As to BBC 2 , I did a upgrade to one of my friends TV (Dual standard KB minus the UHF tuner) fitted with just a blank UHF tuning knob, no doubt to keep manufactures costs down.
UHF tuner obtained from a scrap set in my work (1 pound 50 pence) and worked fine, his reason for the BBC 2 push was to view the Old Grey Whistle test!

Further transmitter upgrades within the Ayrshire area came latter with Patna transmitter covering Dalmellington and Patna

Regards Ian G
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